The Curl-Up Exercise is a staple movement for a healthy core and neck. It functions to engage both the deep neck flexors of the cervical spine and the rectus abdominis of the core, without straining the low back like other exercises (i/e sit up or crunch).



  • Begin in a face-up position with knees flexed to 90
  • Bend your elbows and place them in the small of the low back
  • Retract the chin inward, giving yourself a “double-chin”
  • Curl up the torso while keeping the chin retracted, holding at the top position for 1-2 seconds, then return to the start position
  • Repeat
  • This movement isn’t a sit-up or crunch. Your shoulder blades should maintain contact with the mat during the entire movement
  • When done correctly, you should feel the muscles engage in the core as well as deep in the neck